City and Campus
An Architectural History of South Bend, Notre Dame, and Saint Mary's
City and Campus tells the rich history of a Midwest industrial town and its two academic institutions through the buildings that helped bring these places to life.
John W. Stamper paints a narrative portrait of South Bend and the campuses of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College from their founding and earliest settlement in the 1830s through the boom of the Roaring Twenties. Industrialist giants such as the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company and Oliver Chilled Plow Works invested their wealth into creating some of the city’s most important and historically significant buildings.
Famous architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, brought the latest trends in architecture to the heart of South Bend. Stamper also illuminates how Notre Dame’s founder and long-time president Father Edward Sorin, C.S.C., recruited other successful architects to craft in stone the foundations of the university and the college at the same time as he built the scholarship. City and Campus provides an engaging and definitive history of how this urban and academic environment emerged on the shores of the St. Joseph River.
1. South Bend’s Settlement and Early Development
2. The Founding of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s
3. South Bend’s First Works of Architecture
4. Developing the Early-Nineteenth Century Neighborhoods
5. Industrial Giants
6. Institutions of Faith and Reason
7. Building Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s in the 1880s
8. Late Nineteenth-Century Residential Architecture
9. Magnificent Mansions
10. Turn-of-the-Century Churches and Institutions
11. Beaux-Arts Classicism and the Civil Ideal: 1893-1918
12. South Bend and the City Beautiful Movement
13. Residential Architecture in the New Century: From Neoclassicism to the Prairie School and Arts and Crafts
14. Eclecticism and the Commercial Downtown
15. Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s in the Early Twentieth Century: Introducing the Collegiate Gothic
Index of Images
“City and Campus is an ambitious and engaging book. By deftly weaving together a diverse range of buildings and sites, architectural historian and educator John W. Stamper reveals his deep understanding about the diverse forces that shape our built environment over time.” —Michelangelo Sabatino, co-author of Modern in the Middle
“This book is born of a deep, lifelong, and lived experience of South Bend. John W. Stamper’s passion for this place is reflected in this carefully written history, and Benjamin J. Young’s additions and editing honor Professor Stamper’s last work. An invaluable architectural history of South Bend, the University of Notre Dame, and St. Mary’s College for residents, alumni, and historians alike.” —Margaret M. Grubiak, author of White Elephants on Campus
"John W. Stamper has done a fantastic job knitting together the history of two world-class universities and the northern Indiana industrial city of South Bend. He has brought together in an exciting way how the architecture of both campus and the city evolved over the 100 years the book covers. A great read!" —Travis Childs, Archivist and St. Joseph County Historian, The History Museum
"I am thrilled to witness John W. Stamper's latest work that documents and offers critical insights into South Bend, Saint Mary’s College, and University of Notre Dame’s parallel histories. As a Notre Dame alumna and practicing architect deeply interested in the region’s sense of place, I am thankful that—through Professor Stamper’s sheer will, the dedication of Jennifer Parker, and the careful editing work of Benjamin J. Young—it is presented and illustrated so thoroughly, especially as these communities grow closer than ever." —Melissa DelVecchio, Partner at Robert A.M. Stern Architects
"A well written history of the changing residential, business, and industrial architectural styles in the city of South Bend and the neighboring University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College. This interesting and informative work should be read with profit by students of architecture and the public alike." —Thomas E. Blantz C.S.C., author of The University of Notre Dame: A History
"City and Campus is a perfect and lasting legacy to the work and passion of John Stamper's life. His devotion to the study and preservation of South Bend's historic buildings is knit together with his long tenure with the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture as only a lifetime of connectedness to both could do. Thank you, John." —Todd Zeiger, Director, Northern Regional Office, Indiana Landmarks
There was another tradition of city planning at work that influenced the platting of South Bend and other towns and villages in St. Joseph County: the American Continental grid, which was officially established by the Continental Congress in 1785. Providing a pattern of six-mile square townships subdivided into one-mile square sections, this pattern of land survey was instituted to bring about the orderly development of the Northwest Territory after the Revolutionary War. It was eventually extended to all of the new territories that would one day make up the forty-eight continental states, becoming the dominant model for urban-rural land development in the country.
While Brookfield laid out South Bend’s streets and lot lines following the model and orientation of the Continental grid, his plan had nothing resembling the ideal qualities of cities like New Haven, Philadelphia or Savannah. He made no effort to delineate clear boundaries distinct from the meandering line of the St. Joseph River. Instead, he ran its east-west streets directly up to the riverbank, resulting in numerous partial and angled blocks. He skewed its northern boundary at a sharp angle, and he gave no hierarchical distinction to the block designated for the county courthouse.
In all, it was a highly compromised plan. It extended nine blocks north to south and two-and-a-half blocks east to west at its narrowest point, six-and-a-half blocks at its widest point. <Place Fig. 1.2 near here> The full blocks measured approximately 440 by 340 feet. The three principal north/south streets were Michigan, closest to the river, then Main and Lafayette; the three principal east/west streets were Water (LaSalle), Market (Colfax), and Washington. The grid was intersected diagonally at its southeast corner by Dragoon Trail (Lincolnway East), and at its northwest corner by the State Road to Chicago (Lincolnway West). A second diagonal road, Portage Avenue, extended in a more northerly direction, leading to LaSalle’s Landing and the portage. Brookfield assigned only the quarter block on the southwest corner of Main and Washington Streets, the site of the present courthouse, as a public square. Curiously, he did not give this public square any special status within the gridiron plan. It was just a quarter of the block, and there was no axial approach, as would be found in numerous other county seats with courthouse squares across the state of Indiana. Herein lies another distinction between the grid plan of New Haven and that of South Bend. In New Haven’s case, the central block of the nine-square grid was left open as “common and undivided land,” the communal sanctuary of the congregation. A wooden meeting house was built in the middle of the common in 1639, marking the physical and spiritual center of town and congregation, a plan composition that would be repeated in many towns and cities across the country. The lack of a true courthouse square or town green in South Bend would forever diminish the symbolic civic role of the courthouse in South Bend’s downtown urban core.
Brookfield and his clients, Coquillard and Taylor, saw the unadorned gridded street pattern in purely pragmatic terms as the most efficient means of facilitating commercial trade. The fact that there was no stockade surrounding the town is evidence of the generally peaceful relations that existed by now between the Indians and the various competing European colonizers.
South Bend’s earliest traders and merchants typically built one- and two- story buildings, often with their commercial enterprises on the first floor and their living quarters on the second. At the same time, piers were built on the riverfront, whose water rights were claimed by Coquillard and Taylor. In 1843 the east and west races were dug by the South Bend Manufacturing Company, which retained the rights to water power on the west race. Soon mill buildings were constructed on both raceways to take advantage of hydraulic power provided by the fast river currents. Before long, a substantial number of products began to be shipped out, especially lumber, headed east to build houses, wagons, and boats.
A pictorial view of South Bend in 1831 portrays a small village with about eighteen buildings. <Place Fig. 1.3 near here> The population was about 170. Coquillard's Big St. Joseph Station and three or four other structures are shown as single-story log structures. Other trading posts, houses, and the Michigan Hotel, are shown as two-story, frame buildings with wood siding, gable roofs, small symmetrically placed windows and unadorned doorways. The Jefferson Schoolhouse and other buildings are indicated as smaller, one-story, frame, wood-clad structures. In addition, the first ferry across the river, operated by Nehemiah B. Griffith, is indicated at Water (LaSalle) Street.
Not visible in the picture, but described in the History of St. Joseph County, Indiana (1880), was South Bend’s first brick house, the Bainter-Smith House, erected in 1831. It was square in plan, measuring eighteen feet on a side, two stories high with a shingled gable roof, and a chimney at one end. There was no cornice or other projection, suggesting either a vernacular or possibly Federal style. Located near the southeast corner of Main and Water Streets, it was built with brick fired in a kiln on the west bank of the St. Joseph River.
(excerpted from chapter 1)